Poets&Quants Ranks McIntire Third Among the Top U.S. Undergraduate Business Programs

McIntire reaches the top three for the third consecutive year on business education website Poets&Quants’ annual list.

smiling students on the Lawn

The University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce earned a third-place ranking among the nation’s best undergraduate business programs, according to annual rankings released today by business education website Poets&Quants.

“Our ability to sustain a high position in the rankings is the result of our steadfast commitment to stay at the forefront of business education by constantly refining our curriculum to reflect the realities of today’s marketplace,” said McIntire Dean Carl Zeithaml. “With tremendous engagement and support from our alumni and corporate partners, the entire School community works together to prepare our graduates with technical expertise and leadership skills that will set them apart throughout their careers.”

Surpassed this year only by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, McIntire was edged out of the runner-up spot by less than a tenth of a point. In addition to McIntire’s consistently strong overall ranking, the School earned high marks for academic experience (#5), admissions (#7), and employment (#7).

Associate Dean for the Undergraduate Program and Associate Professor David Lehman echoed Zeithaml’s comments. “We are honored that Poets&Quants has again recognized our undergraduate program as one of the best in the nation,” Lehman said. “This ranking is another testament to the unique and dynamic learning environment provided by our faculty and staff, as well as the exceptional students who fill our classrooms.”

Designed to give third-year and fourth-year UVA students a comprehensive skill set, global learning opportunities, and experiences that empower them to meet the demands of the global business marketplace, McIntire’s 57-credit-hour, upper-divisional B.S. in Commerce Program is centered on the Integrated Core Experience (ICE). An intense and demanding third-year curriculum, ICE helps students learn to work in teams and develop their analytic, strategic, and behavioral business skills. Blending instruction and insights from teams of faculty and corporate leaders, ICE is carefully constructed to give students exposure to the complexities of business. McIntire’s corporate partners play a critical role in ICE, challenging students to develop comprehensive solutions to pressing business problems and to effectively communicate their findings during presentations to executives. All aspects of the program place a robust emphasis on the development of critical professional skills related to business (e.g., communication, teamwork, design thinking, creativity, self-learning, and interpersonal skills).

Beyond ICE, all McIntire students complete up to two specialized concentrations in Accounting, Finance, Information Technology, Management, and Marketing. In recent years, the McIntire School added a portfolio of interdisciplinary tracks that augment students’ concentration coursework: Advertising and Digital Media, Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Global Commerce, Quantitative Finance, and Real Estate.

“We believe that McIntire’s two-year format, which builds on two years of liberal arts and prerequisite courses, is a key point of differentiation from many schools,” Zeithaml said. “This provides students the opportunity to explore a diverse set of courses in their first two years before deciding on business as an area of focus. As a result of this liberal arts foundation, students arrive at McIntire more well-rounded in their overall educational background and more certain of their educational path moving forward.”

Poets&Quants for Undergrads compiled the 2020 ranking based on a representative survey of 5,958 alumni (of 49,215, for a response rate of 12.1%), and school-reported data from 97 schools. The ranking comprises three main categories: admissions standards (33.3%), academic experience (33.3%), and employment outcomes (33.3%). See the full methodology here.

Complete rankings can be found at Poets&Quants.

Poets & Quants Top 10 Undergraduate Business Schools
1. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
2. University of Michigan (Ross)
3. University of Virginia (McIntire)
4. New York University (Stern)
5. Georgetown University (McDonough)

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